I just finished flipping — very, very carefully — through dozens of pages of 70-year-old documents that I received today from the Switzer family. We’re talking brittle, yellowed, handwritten originals. I am humbled beyond words that the family has entrusted these to me. When I review these more closely in the morning, I think I’ll not be drinking coffee — not even from a go-cup.
At a glance, the biggest surprise in these documents is that a good deal of the writing is in the hand of Joe Switzer, whose voice and version of events has been mostly unavailable to me, since he died relatively young and never did like to write. (His older brother, Bob, wrote an extensive chronology in the 1980s.) This past weekend I came up with some key questions I would ask Joe if only I could. Maybe some of his answers are now sitting here in front of me.